Weekly Top 5: Organic News You Need to Know 


U.S. organic fresh apple exports up 33%

The U.S. organic products trade deficit for the first nine months of 2017 was over $1.1 billion, with organic imports reaching $1.6 billion, while exports came in at $433 million, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade statistics released Friday.

Ocean Mist

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New technology may take greenhouses offline

Plants grown in this 'smart' greenhouse fared as well or better than plants grown in conventional greenhouses.

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The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, according to a new report by the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Organic Industry across the globe continues to grow

Organic Produce Network (OPN)

“Provisional calculations indicate that the turnover generated by the global market for organic food and drink in 2016 was close to USD 90bn. There were high growth rates in all the world’s major regions, but in North America and northern Europe in particular,” Amarjit Sahota from the London-based business consultancy Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) told. 

However concerns regarding the supply security of organic raw materials are increasing.

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Next-gen GMO techniques to be kept out of organics 

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) voted Thursday to approve adding three genetic engineering techniques to its list of excluded methods for organics.

The NOSB, the 15-member panel recommending organic policy to the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP), wrapped up its biannual meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.

The use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited in organic production and handling as excluded methods. Historically, such GE techniques involved cell fusion and recombinant DNA technology.

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Top producer of organic wine grapes debuts first sustainability report

Fetzer Vineyards, the world’s largest winery to obtain B Corp certification, on Wednesday released its first sustainability report.

Hopland, Calif.-based Fetzer, one of the world's largest growers of organically grown grapes, farming about 1,000 acres organically in Mendocino, Calif., is a subsidiary of Chile-based Vina Concha y Toro S.A., the world's fifth largest wine company, which purchased Fetzer from Louisville, Ky.-based Brown-Forman in 2011 for $238 million. 

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"I would like to make organics available, accessible and affordable to everyone.  I would like to leave something better than I have found it, essentially being a steward of the land."

Kate Hitchcock
Mesa Packing, LLC and American Farms/G&H Farms

Organic Fresh Produce Sales Top $1 Billion in Q3

Organic Fresh Produce Sales Top $1 Billion in Q3


Organic fresh produce sales reached $1.16 billion for the third quarter of 2017, an eight percent increase in dollars and 10 percent rise in volume from the previous year, according to the Organic Produce Network (OPN). 

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In Their Words: Mark Sambrailo

In Their Words: Mark Sambrailo


OPN recently spoke with Mark Sambrailo, Owner & CEO at Sambrailo Packaging on sustainability and packaging innovations.

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Failure to Prohibit Soilless Production Muddies the Water for the Organic Community

Failure to Prohibit Soilless Production Muddies the Water for the Organic Community


By Melody Meyer

Organic Produce Network was in Jacksonville to witness one of the most divided National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meetings in recent history.   Filled with emotion for organic ideals, both sides defended their position to allow or prohibit out-of- soil organic production methods. After 15 years of debate, hydroponics and container growing will continue to be certified, leaving many soil-only proponents disappointed. OPN reached out to leaders on both sides of the debate to find out how the organic community will move forward on this shaky ground.

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Limited Supplies of Organic Cranberries Projected for Thanksgiving

Limited Supplies of Organic Cranberries Projected for Thanksgiving


While domestic organic cranberry yields are expected to be lower than average, increased demand for organic cranberries and organic cranberry products are higher than ever for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

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Organic Produce Network (OPN)